Do your Apple AirPods disconnect all the time, which annoys you deeply? Well the good news is that you are not the only one facing this problem. Since Apple introduced its lanky looking Bluetooth earbuds in 2016, thousands of users have complained about this problem. The problem is so widespread that it will still affect AirPods users in 2021. In this article, we take a look at some possible solutions to this rather peculiar problem.
Note that most of the solutions in his article also apply to the Apple AirPods Pro.
Since their introduction in 2016, Apple’s wireless earbuds – the AirPods – have been the first choice for headphones – especially for iPhone and iPad owners. As the successor to the old wired earphones from Apple, which are marketed as Earpods, three different AirPod models will be available from 2021. The AirPods (currently in the second generation), AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
With ease of use being touted as the best aspects of Apple AirPods, it’s downright ironic to see that the Apple forum is littered with questions from people who seem to be having trouble with it. A particular problem is if the AirPods accidentally disconnect while you’re on a call or even listening to music. Let’s examine why this is happening and find plausible solutions.
Apple AirPods keep disconnecting? Here’s why it happens
Before we even get started, it’s a good idea to research the root causes behind this pesky problem. From our research, we were able to deduce that there could be several reasons for AirPods to accidentally disconnect. However, we could pin it down to three main aspects
- Software problem – Usually caused by a software update or accidentally changing some settings.
- Signal interference problem – Wireless devices are very susceptible to interference.
- Hardware problem – something is wrong with the actual hardware.
Depending on the cause, the troubleshooting steps to fix common AirPods disconnects can range from very simple to somewhat complex. Now let’s take a look at some of the plausible fixes – starting with the simplest.
Apple AirPods keep getting disconnected? Try these steps first
Check the AirPods battery
At the risk of annoying many of you who may have other AirPods issues, let’s first address what is perhaps the most common reason for frequent disconnects. A lot of people just forget how long they’ve been using the AirPods. As soon as the AirPods battery level exceeds a certain threshold, it is prone to accidental disconnections.
The good thing is that these simple steps are a quick way to check AirPods battery life. If you’re using an iPhone, you can do so by accessing the battery widget.
- To open the battery widget, tap and hold the home screen until the icons start shaking.
- Tap the “+” icon in the top left corner to access the widget page.
- Scroll down and look for that Batteries and then select Add widget.
Now you can monitor the battery life of the AirPods and know in good time before the battery reaches critical values and affects the sound quality.
Another way to do this is to just put them back in their case and leave the lid open. When you bring your iPhone near the case, you might see a pop-up window showing the remaining charge on both your case and each AirPods.
If you’re too lazy to do all of these, you can just ask Siri what is the battery level on your AirPods!
Check Bluetooth settings
Now that you’ve determined that the AirPods are adequately charged, it’s time to dive deeper. Since AirPods rely on Bluetooth to connect to your devices, it’s always a good idea to check for possible Bluetooth-related issues.
The very first thing you can do is turn Bluetooth off and then on again. Before doing this, it’s a good idea to disconnect your AirPods from any other device that you might have tethered them to. After turning Bluetooth back on, check to see if the AirPods reconnect automatically and if the problem is resolved.
A more drastic method would be to disconnect the AirPods from your phone and reconnect them. Note that this process would also disconnect it from other devices connected to the same iCloud account. How to Unpair Apple AirPods from your iPhone;
- to open the settings.
- Tap Bluetooth.
- In the device list, tap the “i” button next to the AirPods.
- Tap Forget this device.
To reconnect your AirPods to iPhone, follow these steps
- Make sure your iPhone is unlocked and on the home screen.
- Put your AirPods in their case, keep the lid open, and hold them next to your iPhone.
- You will see a popup animation for the setup.
- Tap the Connect option.
- A setup animation will appear on your iPhone.
- Tap Connect and complete the setup process.
Switch off WLAN briefly
If the connection problem occurs on a particular device, it is a good idea to turn off the WiFi on that device to see if the problem persists. Note that you are doing this as a troubleshooting step just to see if turning off Wi-Fi fixes the problem. You’ll have to turn it back on, of course, as soon as you discover the WiFi was the problem.
Once you’ve figured out that WiFi was indeed the culprit, it might be a good idea to reduce the distance between the AirPods and the connected device as much as possible. Also, check to see if the AirPods are near microwave ovens, baby monitors, and even wireless cameras.
Apple Airpods keep getting disconnected: advanced troubleshooting steps
Update firmware on AirPods
Accidental disconnections can also be the result of outdated firmware on the AirPods. To check if there is an updated firmware for your AirPods, here’s what you need to do on your iPhone.
- Make sure your AirPods are in the case and connected to the iPhone.
- to open the settings.
- Tap General, then tap over.
- Scroll down to the connected AirPods and tap on it.
- A screen will now show you details about the AirPods – including the firmware version.
- To update the firmware, connect a Lightning cable to the underside of the charging case and leave the case for a while (preferably overnight) next to the iPhone.
- This is because there is no way to force a firmware version on the AirPods.
- If a new software version is available, the new update should be installed automatically.
If your AirPods continue to have the same connection problem, it’s time to take more drastic steps.
Deactivate automatic ear detection
Now, auto ear detection is a nifty feature that basically does what it says it is. This feature tells your device when the AirPods are in your ears. However, this feature has also been blamed for causing the auto disconnect problem. If you are annoyed by accidental disconnections, it is a good idea to disable this feature. Here is how.
- Tap the settings.
- Go to Bluetooth and tap the info icon next to AirPods.
- Uncheck the option that says Automatic ear recognition.
Deactivate the automatic switching
Auto-switching is a feature that was introduced in iOS 14. It enables AirPods to automatically switch between Apple devices. If you have several Apple devices at home, this function should make your life easier. However, activating this feature can often lead to accidental disconnections and the AirPods to connect to the wrong device. Anyway, here’s how you can turn off auto-switching on Apple AirPods.
- to open the settings.
- Tap Bluetooth and tap the info icon next to AirPods.
- Tap on the option that says Connect to this iPhone.
- Make sure you have the option Automatically is not selected.
- Select the option that says Last connected to this iPhone.
We’ve tried fixing most of the causes and possible solutions behind Apple AirPods keep getting disconnected. In fact, there is a good chance that you solved the problem using one of the methods above. We believe that most of the steps are relatively easy to complete.
However, there may be cases where you still have a problematic set of AirPods even after following the steps above. In this scenario, it is a good idea to also check out our dedicated article that addresses common issues that wireless headphone users face.
However, if the problem has still not been resolved, this may indicate an issue that requires more attention and could indicate a more serious hardware problem. This could be especially the case if you remember recently dropping one of your AirPods. In such a scenario, it is better to contact the nearest Apple Store and have them look at it.